One evening, we happened to catch a PBS program called Through a Dog’s Eyes. It’s the story of Jennifer Arnold and others, who have overcome an amazing number of obstacles to found and run a place outside of Atlanta called Canine Assistants (link to its website).
There, Jennifer Arnold, her brother, her veterinarian husband, and numerous other workers and volunteers train Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers to be service and seizure response dogs for people–both kids and adults–with a wide variety of challenges.
This is an expensive undertaking, and they have some good fundraising approaches. Besides corporate sponsors including Milk-Bone and Delta, they get a lot of support from everyday people. As they say on the site, “95% of donations go directly to the training and placement of service and seizure response dogs with children and adults throughout the country.”
While they originally worked with some shelter dogs, they now breed their own service dogs and start their training at 2 days old. I found this fascinating. It makes a lot of sense, too, in terms of what is known about cultural enrichment for young children!
Well, I was spellbound by the program and right after it ended I was online and found that Jennifer Arnold had written a book, also titled Through a Dog’s Eyes. (Clicking on that link or the image takes you to Amazon, but you can also get the book and the DVD at Canine Assistants.) I put the book on my Kindle, and read it. As was evident from the program, the training methods used are all pain-free. Arnold has some interesting ideas about dog training, and what with 75 to 100 dogs going out the door in a year, her ideas must work well! The book expresses her dismay, which I share, at some of the outdated dominance methods that reach a wide audience. She refrains from saying who she means so I will too!
Here’s the book cover. Clicking on it takes you to Amazon.com.
Here is a link to one chapter of her book, one of the most powerful, on the Canine Assistants website. It’s right there on the webpage to be read.
It is simply inspiring to see how a small group of devoted people can do so much work for good, helping others get the service and seizure response dogs who make such a huge difference in their lives.